The Florida Supreme Court has rejected a lawsuit that called into question the constitutionality of the state’s workers’-compensation insurance system.

Justices declined to hear a Miami-Dade County case that endangered the longstanding concept that disputes involving workers injured on the job should be handled through the workers-compensation system as opposed to civil lawsuits.

The high court did not, however, give any reasoning or take a position on the controversial issue.  In June the Third District Court of Appeals ruled that those plaintiffs did not have legal standing to pursue their case.  That same court overturned a 2014 ruling by a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge who found that workers-compensation laws preventing cases from being heard in civil court were unconstitutional.

Florida’s workers-compensation system is designed to provide workers benefits for injuries sustained on the job while also removing their ability (in most cases) to pursue any additional legal action in the civil court system.  Generally speaking, employees may only bring a civil action against an employer for injuries and damages if that employer is alleged to have been a result of an intentional tort or even negligence if the injury was caused by the employer when the employee was not acting in the course and scope of his/her employment.  Critics argue that this system favors businesses and insurance companies by ultimately reducing benefits for injured workers.

Despite this case being rejected, there are currently three other similar matters moving through the Florida courts, which could ultimately be heard by Florida’s top court.  For advocates of increased workers’ rights, these cases may provide the opportunity for this legislation to be amended in favor of employees, and will surely be closely monitored.

For further discussion on this topic please feel free to contact me at the Schulman Law Group at (954) 349-3300 or at info@www.schulaw.com.